Girls (still) just wanna’ have fun

An interview with Cyndi Lauper

October 12, 2006

VERONA – It’s been a little more than 20 years since Cyndi Lauper she-bopped her way from radios into the living rooms across the country.

The ’80s icon will be at Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Showroom Wednesday, Oct. 18.

In addition to such early influences as the Beatles and Joni Mitchell, she’s added such artists as Bill Withers, Rufus Wainright, the Strokes, the Killers, Chamilioaire (“because my son loves him”) and Natasha
Beddingfield (“for the same reason”) to her current playlist.

“My son Declyn loves music and often turns me on to new artists,” she said.

Even while juggling the duties of motherhood with her career, she still finds time to put her ideas and emotions on paper.

“Ideas come to me often when I am sleeping or just about to fall asleep and that causes me to jump up and at least get the idea down,” she said. “Sometimes I just start and don’t finish until my son wakes up. I’ve
always been a person who gets creative in the wee hours, but I also try to set aside time to write regularly because it’s important to”

As one of the more iconic artists from the era of a fledgling MTV, she was there when the music network was more focused on original and up and coming talent.

“The network was not about following radio or trends. They just played artists who they felt had career potential and who were unique and doing their own thing. They started chasing radio hits and major label
directives and stopped doing what they did well,” she said.

“I’ve been told many times that I helped define the look of that decade, and it’s a real compliment.”

“Fast forward to the present, and MTV is just not a place to break acts anymore because 70 percent or more of the programming is reality TV shows and kids don’t trust them with helping them to discover new cool talent. They have YouTube and places like myspace for that.”

Lauper has never lost control of her own identity, ideas and instincts.

“For better and for worse, I have always followed my own instincts,” she said. “That’s all you have in the end; if you become someone else’s idea for who you are, you might as well pack it in.”

Her latest CD, “The Body Acoustic” (2005), features acoustic reinterpretations of tracks from her back catalog as well as two new songs.

She also has kept busy in front of and behind the camera with roles in “Life with Mickey,” “The Opportunists,” “Mad About You” and others. She’s even begun sitting in the director’s chair, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

She says there’s nothing she would change about her life.

“I have had a blessed life and career. Great friends, great family and a career I am very proud of. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Except possibly her timing.

“I’m late a lot,” she said. “Still working on that.”